CACREP Confusion in the States and the Impact on Already Licensed Counselors

As of 9:30pm tonight 9/27/15 (or earlier) the following message thread which was posted yesterday on ACA Open Forum no longer appears. As of this time no notice of its removal or a reason for such has been provided.  This material is posted with permission of the original author.

From: James Reeder

Posted: Saturday September 26, 2015 3:04 PM

Subject: CACREP Confusion in the States and the Impact on Already Licensed Counselors


One of the state counseling associations recently sent out an email blast asking all their members to write legislators in support of CACREP-Only legislation. A Concerned member of theirs wrote back expressing consternation about what such a position will do to non-CACREP counselors.

The state association responded expressing confusion as to how that counselor could even be concerned given that:

“The legislation does not in any way effect those who are currently licensed.”

“In the future… all programs… are or will soon be CACREP.”

I find this response both unsettling and hopeful. Its unsettling because it has a chilly almost lock-step similarity to the exact positions I keep seeing espoused by CACREP-Only partisans on several forums. Do they have shared talking points? I find it hopeful because – if taken at face value – it suggests that many CACREP-Only supporters are innocently ignorant of the damage such proposals will cause. Maybe there is some hope at education. I’ll take another stab at this now:

Regarding no current non-CACREP counselors being hurt:

Some problems with the “generous grandfathering” proposed:

  1. Your non-CACREP license will be increasingly worthless if insurance plans, the public, and government entities see you as something less than the gold standard. Especially if more plans join TRICARE and the VA in adding CACREP-related requirements on top of valid state licenses.

As an example, I posted to ACA Open Forum a current example of a North Carolina company that is advertising a job opening that is only open to CACREP graduates. (The ad also lets people take an alternate exam but their website says they only hire CACREP grads!)

  1. A comprehensive, well-funded plan to maintain equality in PR and marketing and messaging between CACREP and non-CACREP counselors is needed to be executed on by our associations including ACA. ACA is clearly promising to advocate for your equality as a non-CACREP counselor. I wonder how this lovely message will get through as ACA revives its gold standard rhetoric in their latest FAQ and gears up to lobby all 50 state licensing boards to change regulations to CACREP-Only. However, I remain hopeful that ACA will pull this off.
  1. License portability plans remain very much in flux with competing plans proposed. Your ability to switch states is in question in the years ahead. Hopefully the AASCB plan will prevail.
  1. I’m hearing from worried school counselors. Apparently its common for school counselors to work 7-8 years as a school counselor, and then go back for some additional coursework to become licensed clinical counselors. Depending upon the initial training or subsequent additional coursework, school counselors frequently have strong or acquire strong clinical skills. Its an open question how all of those non-CACREP school counselors will be able to retool mid-career to clinical work if licenses require CACREP-Only.
  1. What if your license lapses? Maybe, gods forbid, you get sick for a few years. A kind and thoughtful licensing board will take such into account. A licensing board imposing new CACREP-Only regulations might not. I do believe that most licensing bodies have common sense, but this is a concern.

Regarding all schools soon being CACREP:

Does this state have any counseling psychology masters programs?

CACREP partisans have conveniently re-defined the definition of professional counseling to not include counseling psychology masters programs. They can then use skewed statistics leaving them out entirely.

There are dozens and dozens of these programs and CACREP will not accredit them no matter what they do!

Plans will be announced shortly as to some organized ways to advocate for all counselors. There will be advocacy for any accreditations approved by CHEA and the MCAC program accreditation is currently going through the CHEA process and will compete with CACREP. CACREP partisans are trying to lock-down a monopoly while they can.

It’s all a crying CACREP-Only shame.